The Man from Clear Lake: Earth Day Founder Senator Gaylord Nelson

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University of Wisconsin Pres, Aug 15, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 704 pages
On Earth Day 1970 twenty million Americans displayed their commitment to a clean environment. It was called the largest demonstration in human history, and it permanently changed the nation’s political agenda. More than 1 billion people now participate in annual Earth Day activities.
The seemingly simple idea—a day set aside to focus on protecting our natural environment—was the brainchild of U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. It accomplished, far beyond his expectations, his lifelong goal of putting the environment onto the nation’s and the world’s political agendas.
The life of Nelson, a small-town boy who learned his values and progressive political principles at an early age, is woven through the political history of the twentieth century. Nelson’s story intersects at times with Fighting Bob La Follette, Joe McCarthy, and Bill Proxmire in Wisconsin, and with George McGovern, Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Russell Long, Walter Mondale, John F. Kennedy, and others on the national scene. Winner, Elizabeth A. Steinberg Prize, University of Wisconsin Press

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Contents

22 April 1970
1
1 The Nelsons of Clear Lake
11
2 Happy
36
3 Into the World
53
4 General Nelson
63
5 Losing with La Follette
77
6 Building a Party
90
7 Taking on McCarthy
105
19 Joining the Club
317
20 Defending the Constitution
335
21 Saving the Appalachian Trail
355
22 The Hard Detergent Battle
364
23 The Great Society
374
24 Islands and Rivers
404
25 Protecting Consumers
425
26 The Great Lakes
450

8 Getting Ready to Run
118
9 Nelson for Governor
134
10 A TwoParty State
153
11 An Ambitious Agenda
165
12 Family Fights
203
13 Still the Underdogs
214
14 The Conservation Governor
230
15 The Great Tax Debate
248
16 On to the Senate
265
17 The First Shall Be Last
283
18 Enlisting the President
295
27 The Fight to Ban DDT
464
28 Vietnam
480
29 Earth Day
516
30 Immune to Presidential Fever
535
31 The Environmental Decade
560
32 A Lasting Legacy
578
Notes
601
Bibliography
665
Index
671
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Bill Christofferson, a former journalist and longtime Wisconsin political consultant, now retired, lives in Milwaukee.

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